Sunday 5 April 2015

Sexism and TEFL

From World is Female and Male
I've previously written about different types of discrimination in TEFL. There's lookism, ageism (too old or too young), sexual orientation, name discrimination, and of course, racism. Sexism works both ways. Some places prefer male teachers, others prefer female teachers. I'm not talking about places like those in the Middle East that require the sexes to be segregated, that's totally different.

I can't speak for all of Asia, but in Korea it seems like schools that teach young children prefer young female teachers and universities prefer male teachers. I understand that traditionally kids have been taught by women, but there's also a lot to be said for having positive male role models. Academia has also been traditionally dominated by men and some universities are afraid to hire women because of maternity leave, but this has to stop. 

Many questions that would be illegal to ask back home at an interview are fair game here. A friend of mine knew someone who was asked point blank who would take care of her kids while she was at work. She didn't bat an eye as she responded by asking them if they would ask a male candidate the same question. Needless to say, she didn't get the job, but I admire her for saying that.


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